Six years after a meet-cute straight out of a romantic comedy, country singer Tyler Barham and his longtime love Morgan Hauerwas have tied the knot!
The “World on Fire” singer was married in Seeley Lake, Montana on June 18 in a ceremony that was a true family affair — he and Morgan were married by Barham’s uncle on a 40-acre property owned by his family.
“Being married is already exciting, but we are most excited to start building a family together and creating our own traditions,” Barham says. “We’re still trying to get used to referring to each other as husband and wife instead of just calling each other ‘babe’ like we have for the last six years.”
Their life together started in 2016, when Barham, 32, went to Missoula, Montana to perform at the Western Montana Fair for the local charity Chicks N’ Chaps, which helps families affected by breast cancer.
After Barham took a request for Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” despite not knowing all of the words, he quickly realized there was at least one person in the crowd who did know the lyrics — Hauerwas, 24, who was volunteering with Chicks N’ Chaps.
“I was visiting Missoula for a week to perform for the event, and Morgan and I soaked up as much time together as we could before I headed back to Nashville,” he says. “After going back to Nashville, we kept in touch and dated long-distance for nine months before I relocated back to Montana.”
Barham says he knew instantly that he and Hauerwas, an oncology nurse at St. Patrick’s Hospital, had something special.
“After the day we met we were inseparable and instantly became best friends,” he says. “The first two nights we hung out, we stayed up until the sun came up chatting about our lives and learning as much as we could about one another.”
After getting engaged on Christmas Eve 2020, they chose June 18 as a wedding date for a special reason: it marked the seventh anniversary of the death of Hauerwas’ dad Troy.
“In memory of him, we had an empty chair set out at the ceremony with his favorite cowboy hat and a teddy bear made out of his western shirts,” Barham says.
Hauerwas walked down the aisle in a dress she bought at Last Best Bridal in Missoula, while Barham rented his tuxedo from Rococo Bridal. They exchanged vows they wrote themselves, and the bride used a family ring from the 1950s that previously belonged to her grandmother Dee and her mom Helen.
“On our wedding day, we decided not to do a first look because we wanted our first look at each other to be as Morgan was walking down the aisle,” Barham says. “So we were both most excited to see each other in that moment and all the emotions that came with it.”
Guests noshed on roasted chicken, pork, beans, mac and cheese and cornbread muffins from Famous Dave’s for dinner, and for dessert, they were treated to a four-tiered cake from Wendy Starkey that included layers of huckleberry, caramel, Oreo cookie crunch and funfetti, as well as lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling.
Photography was handled by Mark Payton, while Krista Kasun did Hauerwas’ hair, as well as that of her bridesmaids. Hannah Teeples, meanwhile, created the bride’s makeup look for the big day.
For Barham and Hauerwas, their wedding day was a long time coming, as much of their early relationship was long-distance, and forced them to rely on text, FaceTime and phone calls to keep close.
“Dating long distance helped grow our communication skills as well as helped us cherish the times we got to be together in person,” he says. “It tested our patience, showed us that the little creative things go a long way, and taught us both how to communicate better, because communication was over the phone was all we had since we were 2,000 miles apart. [But] after only a year of dating, I knew she was the one and wrote on a napkin, ‘I’m gonna marry you someday,’ which she still has.”
Though Hauerwas felt the same about building a life together, she was in the process of becoming a registered nurse, and didn’t want to plan a wedding until she’d graduated. Barham proposed one month after her graduation.
Once their long-distance days were over, Barham says they kept things strong “with patience, communication and never forgetting the little things.”
After their wedding, the couple took a “minimoon” to Bigfork, Montana, where they played golf, stayed at a friend’s lake house on Flathead Lake, boated to Wild Horse Island and headed to Quinn’s Hot Springs.
They plan to take an actual honeymoon in 2023.
“She sets my world on fire,” Barham says.